Rai Bahadur Pt. Shyam Manohar Nath Sharga “Saghir”
An intellectual giant with a poetic mind
By Dr. B.N. Sharga
Hinduism as we all know is no religion. It is actually a way
of life being governed by the Vedantic wisdom. It has been evolved over
thousands of years by different learned saints and sages through their
doctrines, who were actually the original thinkers and philosophers.
The most ancient and pioneering text on the Vedantic
philosophy is Yoga Vashishta, in which sage Vashishta exhorts to adopt
the path of Karma or duty, giving equal emphasis on acquiring Gyan
i.e. wisdom and knowledge. One of the ardent admirers of the doctrine of Yoga
Vashishta was Rai Bahadur Pt. Shyam Manohar Nath Sharga “Saghir” who
dedicated his entire life in the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom and achieved
glorious heights in academic excellence. He became a shining star of the
community whose extraordinary contributions in the various fields became
memorable landmarks for the future generations to draw an inspiration from them
for all times to come.
The ancestors of Rai Bahadur Pt. Shyam Manohar Nath Sharga
were the famous Dattatreye Kauls of Rainawari mohalla in the Srinagar district
of the Kashmir Valley. He was a descendant of Pt. Narain Kaul (1640-1712). His
ancestor Pt. Zind Ram Kaul came to the imperial capital Delhi from Kashmir in
the fag end of the 17th century during the rule of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb
(1658-1707) through the old Mughal route via. Murree, Rawalpindi and Lahore. He
was a Sanskrit and Persian scholar and a very good horseman with fighting
abilities. After sometime due to his good physique he got a job in the Mughal
imperial army. He was placed in the mounted regiment under the command of Siddiq
Beg Khan Bahadur. He then started living in Bazaar Sita Ram in Delhi with his
Pt. Zind Ram Kaul had a son Pt. Sahib Ram Kaul, who was also
a good scholar of Sanskrit and Persian language like his father. As in those
days the jobs were generally given from father to son on the basis of the family
background, so he was also placed in the mounted regiment of the Mughal army
under the command of Murshidzada Ifaq Nawab Mohammad-ud-Daula.
Pt. Sahib Ram Kaul had two sons Laxmi Narain Kaul and
Niranjan Das Kaul who had their traditional education in Urdu and Persian
language in a Maktab at Delhi. As the decline of the Mughal empire
started after the death of Aurangzeb in 1707 and the people started migrating
from Delhi to other places for better job opportunities so both Pt. Laxmi Narain
Kaul and his brother Pt. Niranjan Das Kaul then came to Faizabad in Oudh around
1770 to get some good job in the court of Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula (1753-1775) who
was at that time encouraging these migrations from Delhi to his seat of power at
Faizabad. Since both these brothers had a very good physique and were skilled
horsemen and fencing experts so Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula readily made them
commanders of his royal mounted guards, which was an elite force to look after
the security of the royal family members. They were entrusted with the task of
looking after the security arrangements of Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula’s daughter in
law Begum Shamsul Nisa and her jagir, who was not having very cordial
relations with her husband Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula well known for his great fancy
for Iranian fad, so much so that when his son Wazir Ali succeeded him after his
death in 1797 the British Resident refused to accept him as the ruler of Oudh
and his legal heir. Because Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula’s wife Shamsul Nisa had made a
complaint to the then governor general Warren Haistings to that effect.
Here it must be kept in mind that Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula’s
principal wife Ummatul Zohra popularly known as Bahu Begum who was an adopted
daughter of the Mughal emperor Mohammad Shah Rangiley, was the richest Begum of
Oudh. Her ever growing source of income was a very big jagir, which
included the places like Gonda, Jais, Kharu, Allka, Rukka, Parsiddipur, Salone
and Samanantar with districts like Nawabganj, Gharaiyya Khas, Begum Bari,
Mecoganj and Sindh. She was entitled to collect taxes from the meat merchants
and branding cattle. Apart from all this she owned an extraordinary collection
of rare jewellery worth crores of rupees.
Bahu Begum used to manage her big jagir by about
10,000 regular and irregular soldiers. Her royal force of 2,000 horsemen was
under the over all command of Ahmad Ali ably assisted by the commanders like Pt.
Laxmi Narain Kaul and Pt. Niranjan Das Kaul. She also had a fleet of 25 boats at
her disposal. So that way she used to command a great authority over the
administration of Oudh. She saved the crown of Nawab Shuja – ud - Daula after
the battle of Buxar by paying a huge war compensation and loan to the British.
She became so much pleased with the performance of both Pt. Laxmi Narain Kaul
and his brother Pt. Niranjan Das Kaul on the various battle fronts that she
granted a royal Wasiqa a sort of hereditary pension of 200 Shahi rupees per
month to each one of them equivalent to present 30,000 rupees besides few
villages as jagir in the Farrukhabad district. They were the two out of
12 eminent persons who were especially selected by Bahu Begum for this royal
honour. She bestowed the title Sharga upon them. The jagirs of
both these brothers in the Farrukhabad district were confiscated by the British
later on after the death of Nawab Asaf - ud - Daula in 1797, when the British
out of turn installed his half brother Nawab Saadat Ali Khan on the throne of
Oudh in 1798.
Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula died in 1775 at Faizabad. After his
death his eldest son Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula became the ruler of Oudh who then
shifted his seat of government from Faizabad to Lucknow in 1775 just to avoid
too much interference of his mother Bahu Begum in the day to day administration.
When Lucknow became the new capital of Oudh then naturally both Pt. Laxmi Narain
Kaul Sharga and Pt. Niranjan Das Kaul Sharga also came from Faizabad to Lucknow
with the royal entourage and started initially living in Rani Katra with their
family members in a rented accomodation.
Though the people used to sing paeans about Nawab
Asaf-ud-Daula and his most liberal rule like jisko na de maula, usko de
Asaf-ud-Daula but the real wealth and affluence was only confined with the
nobles connected with his court whereas the life of a common man on the street
was most miserable and pathetic. There existed one more world in Lucknow beyond
the culture of palaces, which was full of filth and miseries. Reverend William
writes in Indian Recreations published at London in 1804 thus, “Among
all this blaze of wealth and magnificence, thousands of poor wretches are seen
on the road to all appearance in real want. There is not perhaps in the whole
compass of human affairs a more striking display of inequality of condition.
Extravagant wealth is amassed in the hands of one man and is confined in the
narrow circle of his favourites.”
Pt. Laxmi Narain Kaul Sharga had three sons Prem Narain, Sheo
Prasad and Durga Prasad, while Pt. Niranjan Das Kaul Sharga had four sons, Nar
Singh Dutt, Badri Nath, Kanhaiyya Lal and Kedar Nath besides two daughters
Chando married in a Mushran family of Rani Katra, and Meena who was married with
Pt. Baij Nath Sopori of Kashmiri Mohalla, Lucknow.
Pt. Durga Prasad Sharga was born around 1797. He was a very
good scholar of Urdu, Persian and Arabic language. He was employed in the Oudh
court as a Mushirkar. It is said that when Lord Dalhousie dethroned the
last king of Oudh Nawab Wajid Ali Shah on 7th February 1856 a delegation under
the leadership of queen mother Malka Aliya went in May 1856 from Lucknow to
England to pray before Queen Victoria of England to restore the throne of Oudh
to Nawab Wajid Ali Shah. Pt. Durga Prasad Sharga was one of the members of this
delegation in the capacity of an advisor of Malka Aliya. Though Queen Victoria
refused to grant an audience to this delegation, but the petition bearing the
signatures of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah’s mother Janaba Aliya Taj Ara Begum and
Wajid Ali Shah’s eldest son and heir apparent to the throne Mirza Mohammad
Hamid Ali and his next brother Mirza Mohammad Jawwad Ali Sikander Hashmat
Bahadur was then presented on 6th August 1857 before the House of Lords for a
brief debate by the then Chancellor of Exchequer Lord Campbell but was later on
withdrawn on technical grounds. Malika Aliya (Malika Kishwar) was the daughter
of Nawab Hussain-ud-Din Khan of Kalpi near Kanpur. While on her way back from
London to Lucknow she died at Paris in 1857 at the age of about 55 years. The
British then stopped the payment of Wasiqa to Pt. Durga Prasad Sharga and
confiscated his jagirs. The payment of Wasiqa was restored to him in 1859
after getting the clearance from the city magistrate that he did not take any
part with the rebels during the Mutiny of 1857. Pt. Durga Prasad Sharga died
around 1870 in Kashmiri Mohalla, Lucknow at the age of about 75 years.
Pt. Durga Prasad Sharga had three sons Bansi Dhar, Sri Kishan
and Bishambhar Nath. Pt. Bansi Dhar Sharga was born around 1828 in Kashmiri
Mohalla, Lucknow, Pt. Bansi Dhar Sharga after completing his traditional
education in Urdu and Persian language became a Bakshi a pay master in
the Shahi Fauj of king Amjad Ali Shah (1842 – 1847).
He lost his job when Gen. Outram forcefully evicted the royal
family members from the Chhattar Manzil palace on 23rd August 1856 and the
British disbanded the Shahi Fauj. Though the British absorbed the
Kashmiri Pandits in their services who were employed in the Lahore durbar after
the annexation of the Punjab Kingdom in 1849, but they adopted a different
policy after the annexation of the Oudh kingdom by them in 1856, simply because
the rulers of Punjab were skihs whereas the rulers of Oudh were Shia Muslims,
who raised a banner of revolt against them in 1857 under the command of Begum
Hazrat Mahal. Pt. Bansi Dhar Sharga was victimized by the British for the role
played by his father Pt. Durga Prasad Sharga in supporting the claim of Nawab
Wajid Ali Shah on the throne of Oudh. The British to break the backbone of the
Nawabs and their loyal employees not only confiscated their properties but also
deprived them from the government service. Pt. Bansi Dhar Sharga had to face
this music for no fault on his part.
He was a man of great taste and used to live with great
affluence and pomp and show commanding both respect and honour. He was married
with Kaula Bibi who was the daughter of Pt. Mehtab Rai Tankha and granddaughter
of Dewan Zind Ram Chowdhary Tankha who was the incharge of the government
treasury of Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula. Pt. Bansi Dhar Sharga died around 1886. He had
only one son whose name was Pt. Baij Nath Sharga.
Pt. Baij Nath Sharga was born around 1850 in Kashmiri
Mohalla, Lucknow. After completing his traditional education in a Maktab
he first became a sharistedar in the Farrukhabad district during the
British rule and then on the recommendation of his father in law Dewan Moti Lal
Atal who was very close to Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II (1835-1880) of the Jaipur
state, Pt. Baij Nath Sharga became the Nazim of Ganganagar and started
living in Tehsil Naveli under the jurisdiction of Sawai Madhopur.
Pt. Baij Nath Sharga being the son in law of Dewan Moti Lal
Atal very soon started wielding considerable power and influence over the
administration which offended the local Rajput chieftains and other courtiers.
The Rajput chieftains could not digest the rule of a Kashmiri Pandit over them.
So they hatched a conspiracy to eliminate Pt. Baij Nath Sharga to make the way
for some Rajput to take over the administration of Sawai Ganganagar. Pt. Baij
Nath Sharga subsequently died under mysterious circumstances due to poisoning in
1890 at the age of about 40 years.
Pt Baij Nath Sharga while serving as Nazim of Sawai
Ganganagar earned a lot of money and built a big haveli in 1883 in Kashmiri
Mohalla, Lucknow for the lavish living of his family members. He lived a king
size life and fully enjoyed every moment of it. He was married in 1868 with
Radhika Rani (Shyam Rani) the daughter of Dewan Moti Lal Atal of the Jaipur
state. He had two sons Brijendra Nath Sharga and Shyam Manohar Nath Sharga
besides three daughters Kam Rani who was married with Pt. Suraj Narain Bahadur
the son of Pt. Har Sahai Bahadur of Kashmiri Mohalla, Lucknow, Lado Rani who was
married with Pt. Kishan Lal Hukku of Allahabad and Kashi Shuri who was married
with Pt. Kunwar Kishan Dar the son of Pt. Mohan Kishan Dar of Agra.
Pt. Baij Nath Sharga’s elder son Pt. Brijendra Nath Sharga
was born in July 1877 at Madhopur. He did his M.A. in English literature from
Canning College, Lucknow around 1898. He then went to England in 1902 to study
law. He did his bar-at-law from Lincon’s Inn, London in 1904. But before he
could return back to his motherland he met with a tragic road accident; when he
came under the wheels of a horse driven carriage while going to the market on
his bicycle to purchase some articles for his relatives back home. He
subsequently died on 21st October, 1904 in a London hospital and was cremated
there. From his death bed on the suggestion of Pt. Iqbal Narain Masaldan his
classmate who was the son of Pt. Shyam Narain Masaldan a great social reformer
of Lucknow, Pt. Brijendra Nath Sharga bequeathed Rs. 10,000/- to Dr. Annie
Besant for providing facilities for the education of Kashmiri Pandit boys in the
Central Hindu College, Benaras (Varanasi). Dr. Annie Besant built a magnificient
Sharga Hall in his loving memory in the Central Hindu College, Benaras.
Pt. Brijendra Nath Sharga was married with Indrani Hukku but she died quite
young before his death.
Pt. Baij Nath Sharga’s younger son Pt.Shyam Manohar Nath
Sharga was born on 21st December 1879 in Tehsil Naveli of Sawai Madhopur in the
erstwhile Jaipur state. He had his early schooling in the Centennial School,
Lucknow and then in Maharaja School, Jaipur where he used to live with his
maternal grandfather in his haveli on Chaura Rasta. He then took admission in
Government Jubilee High School, Lucknow in IX Class in 1893 by which time he had
developed a total command over Sanskrit, Hindi, Urdu, Persian and Arabic
language. He passed his entrance examination in 1895 in first division scoring
the highest percentage of marks which was conducted by the Allahabad University
at that time and got the scholarship of the U.P. government for higher studies.
There was no facility of electricity then. He used to read in the light of an
oil lamp at night with great difficulty as its wick used to flicker with the
wind disturbing his mental concentration on his studies.
While he was studying in the Centennial School, Lucknow a
rogue student of his class hit the writing slate on his forehead so forcefully
that it resulted in a deep injury on his forehead which later on developed
swelling due to some infection causing much worry to his relatives. He also
developed high fever due to this infection. The antibiotic drugs were not
discovered by that time. So when the doctors expressed their inability to treat
him, his relatives then as the last effort took him to Benaras to present him
before Swami Bhaskaranandji who was a very great spiritual saint of that period
with supernatural powers. Swamiji gently put up his thumb on Pt. Shyam Manohar
Nath Sharga’s forehead as if the former was applying a tilak to the latter and
lo behold all the problems of young Pt. Shyam Manohar Nath Sharga at once
vanished into the thin air like a miracle and he became perfectly alright. Since
then he never complained any headache till his death.
Pt. Shyam Manohar Nath Sharga took his admission in the
Canning College, Lucknow in 1895 and did his F.A. in 1897 and B.A. in 1899 in
first division from this institution which was affiliated with the Allahabad
University then securing first position in both the examinations. He then did
his M.A. in English literature in 1901 in first division but was placed in the
second position in order of merit as his British professor in the Canning
College became partial and gave two marks more to a European student so that a
native student could not boast of this unique distinction. Pt. Shyam Manohar
Nath Sharga all through his academic career instead of doing five questions out
of ten as per instructions in the examinations used to write the answers of all
the ten questions with a remark see any five for the examiner on his answer
He was then appointed as the Professor of English literature
in 1902 in the Canning College but he also continued his studies and joined the
law classes. He then passed the pleader’s examination of the Allahabad High
Court in 1904 and in the same year he did his LL.B. from the Allahabad
University in first division with first position in order of merit.
He then left the job of teaching in the Canning College and
started his legal practice. In April 1904 his mother Mrs. Shyam Rani Sharga died
at the age of about 52 years due to which he became a little indecisive about
his future plans. But he somehow continued his legal practice for another two
years. He then in 1906 became the judgement writer in the court of Chief
Judicial Commissioner, Lucknow.
The British then appointed him as Munsif at Barabanki in
1908. He used to go to Barabanki to attend his court from his residence at
Lucknow on his private Tonga daily. After serving as Munsif in the few
districts of U.P. he got the promotion and was made a sub judge in 1919 and was
posted at Hardoi. He then became an additional sessions judge of Bahraich in
1924. From Bahraich he was transferred to Lakhimpur Kheri in the same capacity
in 1927. He then became subjudge and assistant sessions judge Sitapur in 1929.
In 1930 he became additional sessions judge Unnao. He finally retired as the
district and sessions judge Gonda in 1934 after putting in a long record of
Although he was a very brilliant and competent judge with an
unblemished record of service but even then when according to seniority his turn
came for the appointment in the Oudh Chief Court, the British elevated a pro
British Muslim judge to the Bench superceding him. He was victimized by the
British for his very strong nationalist views and for his close connections with
Dr. Annie Besant and some other Congress stalwarts of that period like Pt. Moti
Lal Nehru who was a regular visitor to his place and Pt. Bishambhar Nath Sahib
who was his grandfather in law.
He was a man of independent character and never used to mix
up freely with the British officers in the official functions, gatherings,
parties and dinners just to gain undue favours of the British. Being a highly
orthodox person he simply used to take fruits and that too in a silver plate on
such occasions, which was definitely not to the liking of the British. On one
such occasion when the venue of the party was changed at the last moment; he
kept on sitting at the original place and did not change his seat. Later on he
justified his action by narrating an old Urdu couplet Hazrat-e-Daag jahan
baith gaye baith gaye.
The British then to show their impartiality and fairplay to
the public at large made him chief judge of the Udaipur state in 1934 during the
rule of Maharana Bhopal Singh in that state. In 1935 the then Viceroy and
governor genreal of India Lord Willingdon conferred upon him the civilian title
of Rai Bahadur for his long meritorious service to the British empire.
Rai Bahadur Pt. Shyam Manohar Nath Sharga as the Chief Judge
of the Udaipur state created history when he cleared all the backlog of cases
within a record time of three years single handedly. He used to work like a
giant and became popular in the state as a convicting judge. He used to give
very harsh punishments to the hardened criminals so that they may not dare to
commit the crime again. His judgements always used to have the flavour of
English literature and were generally written in the Miltonian style of English.
In official functions of the state he used to sit next to Maharana Bhopal Singh,
who became very happy with the performance of the former.
After completing his term of three years he came back to
Lucknow from the Udaipur state in 1937. Maharana Bhopal Singh of Udaipur on his
departure from the state presented him an Italian Fiat car, a Havadar and
a sword of honour besides some precious jewels in recognition of his outstanding
work in the state.
Rai Bahadur Pt. Shyam Manohar Nath Sharga started writing
Urdu poetry quite early in life. He began composing parodies about his teachers
when he was harldy 8 or 10 years old. He then started composing serious Ghazals
in the company of some matured Urdu poets. He then started reading the Dewans
of noted Urdu poets just to develop his own style of poetry writing. He liked
the narration of Khwaja Wazir Lucknavi and then tried to follow the same style
of poetry writing. He always tried that his poetry should not be confined to
mere romanticism and imaginary ideas but should also convey some message. He
never composed any thing on demand or in anybody’s praise for some favour. He
only expressed those emotions and feelings in his poetry.which he himself felt
in his heart as a poet. The following couplet composed by him under the pen name
Saghir reflects that approach very explicitly.
Taras jayegi duniya gul phishani ko Saghir apni
Zamana phir dikhayega na aisa khush bayan barson.
He never took poetry writing as a serious profession but as a
pass time so whatever came into his mind on any topic under the sun he simply
expressed that in a poetic form with out bothering much about the nuances of
Urdu poetry writing and its grammer. The following Ghazal composed by him
will give an ample idea about the style of his poetry writing.
Nahin para mere gham ke rakam ka
Kaleja chak hota hai kalam ka
Gharik-e-zar hon bahre karam ka
Mujhe kya gham hissab-e-besho kam ka
Kiya raftar ne kiski yeh pamal
Ki surma ban gaya nakshe kadam ka
Tagaful bhi hai zalim ka kayamat
Ki dil mushtaq hai mashke sitam ka
Kiye kya kya gulemani shigufta
Karishma dekh is tute kalam ka
Do alam ho chuke bismil Ilahi
Abhi, agaz hai husne sanam ka
Saghir –e khasta jan se puchiye hal
Shuru – e – ishk mein zapt – e – alam ka
Generally Urdu poets compose the happenings of the day from
the early morning till late night which they call as Subah Roz in
different forms and styles. The style of Saghir can be judged from the
following lines composed by him :
Pahla pahar hai raat ka hai khushnuma saman
Hone lage hain subah ke asaar kuch ayan
Aati hai tan mein taza naseem sahar se jan
Tadke ki chandni ki latafat ho kya bayan
Yon shafaq asman mein hain tare jame hue
Moti hon jase farsh pe bikhre pade hue
Kante pare hain halk mein hasrat hai ghoont ki
Pani nahi hai naam ko thaili mein oont ki”.
He never composed anything in praise of anybody to gain some
favour nor on demand of any person. His main motto while writing Urdu poetry was
always for self pleasure and to satisfy his creative urge. That is why he never
bothered to publish any Dewan for posterity. Now much of his
poetic compositions are untraceable although a few of them are there in the
first volume of Bahar-e-Gulshan-e-Kashmir, which was published in 1931.
Rai Bahadur Pt. Shyam Manohar Nath Sharga was married in May
1892 at Farrukhabad with Kunwarpati (Dhan Rani) the daughter of Pt. Niranjan
Nath Sahib and granddaughter of Pt. Bishambhar Nath Sahib of Allahabad, which
was arranged by Pt. Bhairom Nath Sharga. He had two sons Manharan Nath and
Kailas Nath, besides five daughters Janak Dulari (b – 1898) who was married
with Pt. Kunwar Krishna Gurtu the son of Pt. Sri Krishna Gurtu of Gwalior, Shyam
Kumari (b – 1903), who was married with Pt. Jagat Prakash Taimni the son of
Pt. Sri Ram Taimni of Lucknow, Ram Kumari (b – 1906), who was married with Dr.
Sidh Nath Kaul the son of Pt. Radhe Nath Kaul of Lahore, Roop Kumari (b –
1909) who died quite young and Susheel Kumari (b – 1912) who was married with
Pt. Hari Narain Shivpuri the son of Pt. Lakshmi Narain Shivpuri of Pratapgarh.
R.B. Pt. S.M.N. Sharga’s eldest son Pt Manharan Nath Sharga
was born in 1895. He passed his middle examination around 1902 from the
Government Jubilee High School and then left his studies. He was then fixed up
in the railways by one of his relative Pt. Kali Sahai Sharga at Calcutta
(Kolkata). But there he had a row with another relative Pt. Kunwar Krishna
Sharga who created some mischief and then left the job in utter disgust. He then
came back to Lucknow from Calcutta and did nothing. He was married around 1914
with Rupwanti (b – 1901) who was the daughter of Pt. Maharaj Krishna Haksar of
Gwalior. He had a son Gauri Nath besides two daughters Swaroop Kumari who was
married with Pt. Gopi Kishan Kitchlu the son of Pt. Kunwar Kishan Kitchlu of
Jammu and Savitri Kumari who was married with barrister Suresh Narain Mulla the
son of Justice Tej Narain Mulla of Allahabad. Pt. Manharan Nath Sharga died
around 1974 at Kanpur at the age of about 78 years. His wife Mrs. Rupwanti
Sharga died earlier in Mahanager, Lucknow in 1972 at the age of 71 years due to
Pt. Gauri Nath Sharga was born in 1916. He passed the
entrance examination around 1942 and then joined the Police Training College,
Moradabad and became a sub inspector of police around 1943. He then did his F.A.
privately from the D.A.V. College Kanpur and became a deputy superintendent of
police. He retired from active government service in 1975 from Kanpur. After his
retirement he started living in C – 24, H – Road, Mahanagar, Lucknow. He was
married with Jaiwanti Madan (b – 1920) the daughter of Pt. Bishambhar Nath
Madan of Faizabad. He had four sons Guru Nath, Ganga Nath, Vijay and Rajiv
besides five daughters Prabha married to Pt. Upinder Kishan Razdan of Delhi,
Pushpa married to Dr. Vishwa Nath. Reuof Delhi, Padma married to Girish
Srivastava of Lucknow, Shashi married to Sanjeev Misra of Kanpur and Meera
married to Pt. Jawahar Wattal the son of Pt. Hira Lal Wattal of Allahabad.
Pt. Gauri Nath Sharga died in February 1995 at Delhi at the
age of about 78 years. His wife Mrs. Jaiwanti Sharga died later in September,
1995 at Delhi due to brain Cancer at the age of 75 years.
R.B. Pt. S.M.N. Sharga’s youngest son Pt. Kailas Nath
Sharga was born in 1914 on the day of Janma Asthami the year in which the
city of Lucknow suffered a terrible flood when the swollen Gomti river
practically submerged half the city areas in knee deep water. He had his
early schooling in Government Jubilee High School from where he passed his
entrance examination in 1931. He then did his F.A. and B.A. from the Lucknow
University in 1933 and 1935 respectively. He then took his admission in
M.A. with English literature as his subject and passed his M.A. and LL.B.
examinations simultaneously in 1937 as the double course was allowed at that
time. He then qualified the P.C.S. (Judicial) examination but the British did
not appoint him as a Munsif for want of vacancy. He then started his
legal practice. When India became free in 1947 and Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant
became the first Premier of the then United Provinces he appointed Pt. Kailas
Nath Sharga as a judicial officer in 1947 and posted the latter at Moradabad.
Pt. Kailas Nath Sharga served first as a judicial magistrate and then as an
additional district magistrate judicial in a numbers of districts of U.P. like
Barabanki, Rae Bareli, Gorakhpur, Aligarh, Bahraich and Varanasi. He retired as
A.D.M. (J) from Sultanpur in 1975 after attaining the age of superannuation. The
noted filmmaker Muzaffar Ali shot some, scenes on him for his well researched
documentary film The Wasiqedars of Oudh.
Pt. Kailas Nath Sharga was married in 1934 at Kanpur with Raj
Kumari (Rajwanti) the daughter of Pt. Rameshwar Nath Dar of Kanpur. He had four
sons Dr. Baikunth Nath Sharga, Dr. Amrit Nath Sharga, Arjun Sharga and Vinay
Sharga besides two daughters Saroj married to Pt. Shyam Mohan Nath Dar of
Mandsaur and Dr. Sita married to Pt. Kamal Zutshi of Nagpur. Pt. Kailas Nath
Sharga died on 7th July 1991 at Lucknow at the age of about 77 years. His wife
Mrs. Rajwanti Sharga died on 16th February 2004 at the age of about 87 years at
Lucknow. Both of them died in the historic haveli of Kaul Shargas in
Rai Bahadur Pt. Shyam Manohar Nath Sharga had a
multidimensional personality. He was a tall and well built man with a very good
physique as he was fond of doing the Indian excersises daily to keep him fit and
sturdy. He was also fond of wrestling. He was a voracious reader and used to
read books practically on all the subjects. He had a big personal library with a
vast collection of rare books and manuscripts. He had an awe inspiring
personality and used to command a great respect in the society. He was a great
philanthropist and so used to help many people in many ways both financially and
otherwise. He was a great votary of women’s education and extended all the
help and support to his brother in law Pt. Suraj Narain Bahadur to start a girls
school in Kashmiri Mohalla in 1904. He even provided residence free of cost to
the head mistress of this girls school, Miss Rosalina Ingliss an Irish lady on
the recommendation of Dr. Annie Besant.
He also had vast agricultural lands in village Naubasta Khurd
on Sitapur Road, which were taken away by the state government in 1950 under the
Zamindari Abolition Act to deprive the elite of the society their social status
under the false notion of bringing about socialism by removing the disparities
in the society.
He also purchased the palace of Nawab Makzan-ud-Daula on
Maidan Ilach Khan in 1934 where it is said once Nawab Wajid Ali Shah stayed when
he came to Lucknow incognito from his detention in Calcutta in Fort William.
He had a limited friend circle. The people like Justice Sir
Wazir Hasan, Justice Bisheshwar Nath Srivastava, Justice Gokaran Nath Misra and
Mirza Jaffar Ali Khan ‘Asar’ were very close to him.
Though Kashmiri Mohalla of Lucknow has produced a galaxy of
social and political figures like Pt. Sheo Narain Bahar, Pt. Shyam Narain
Masaldan, Pt. Bishan Narain Dar and noted Urdu poets like Pt. Daya Shankar Kaul
‘Naseem’, Pt. Ratan Nath Dar ‘Sarshar’ Pt. Brij Narain Chakbast etc. in
the 19th century, but none of them ever bothered to develop their own locality.
Rai Bahadur Pt. Shyam Manohar Nath Sharga took this task and to improve the
environment and living conditions in the locality he with the help of some other
like minded and enthusiastic persons developed a beautiful park in the mohalla
for the recreation of the local residents in 1918, which was then duly named
after him as Sharga Park by the Lucknow. Municipal Board. He also became
instrumental in launching some other such welfare schemes for the benefit of the
people. He was actually a great missionary and a visionary, a great educator of
ideas and philosophies.
Building houses was his greatest passion. He had twelve
houses in Kashmiri Mohalla and a big Shadi Khana for organizing community
functions and for performing community marriages which he used to give without
charging anything from the community members besides providing utensils on such
occasions and some other items connected with such functions.
He used to recite quite often the Urdu couplet Jahan mein
jahan tak jageh paeyye imarat banate chale jaeyye whenever he was in good
mood. Smoking Hukka for a few minutes after the meals was his most
favourite style. Sometimes he also used to enjoy an outing with his family
members on his luxurious Chevrolet car.
He was a great animal lover and had a big collection of about
5000 pigeons of rare breed. Kite flying and playing cards were his favourite
passtime. He always recognized the dignity of labour and never felt any
hesitation in doing any type of manual work. He also learnt horse riding and
swimming as a hobby.
In 1950 the retinue of his domestic servants hatched a
conspiracy and committed a very big theft in his haveli, which continued
for a record time of about six months unnoticed. This theft was detected when a
Kashmiri Pandit Kotwal of Chowk Kotwali Pt. Jagdish Munshi found a black man,
selling Dijahroos in the main jewellery market at night. Suspecting some
foul play Pt. Jagdish Munshi took that suspect to the Chowk Kotwali where the
accused was then subjected to a thorough police interrogation upon which he
spilled the beans and confessed his crime. He revealed to the police that with
the help of other domestic servants of the Haveli he was indulging in
this type of stealing for the last six months. His modus operandi was quite
simple. He used to pick up precious articles one by one daily very secretly and
then used to sell them in the market at throw away price for money. As the judge
saheb was living alone with his wife who was practically blind so the accused
had also chalked out a fool proof plan to kill the judge saheb in case of any
resistance from his side.
Pt. Jagdish Munshi to confirm the confession of the culprit
then sent a posse of policemen to the residence of judge saheb who initially
didn’t believe that a theft had been committed in his fort like haveli
but when the policemen placed the keys of Toshakhana before him and
told him that the accused was telling his name as Paras Ram the judge saheb
then got the greatest shock of his life, as in this unique theft of its own type
his lifelong earnings including precious jewellery and a big collection of rare
artefacts worth about 50 lacs were stolen. This historic theft captured the
banner headlines in almost all the newspapers of the city the very next day.
After this most unfortunate event Rai Bahadur Pt. Shyam
Manohar Nath Sharga became a completely broken person. He then lost all interest
in life. He could not recover from this catastrophe as it was not possible for
him to begin once again from a scratch at that age. He also felt the guilt that
he had deprived his legal heirs of a big fortune. All these developments
naturally had a very bad effect on his health. He became seriously ill and
ultimately left for his heavenly abode on 14th May, 1952 at the age of about 73
years after a protracted illness. His wife Mrs. Dhan Rani Sharga died three
month later in September 1952 at the age of about 72 years. Thus an era of
nobility and old values has come to an end with a sad note. Nobel Laureate
Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore’s golden words that The butterfly counts not
months but moments and has time enough should be a guiding force for every
one in life for achieving success.